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Second Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial kicks off.

03. 08. 2019

 Empowering leadership through enduring knowledge.

They’ve lined up some of the planet’s greatest wines.

They’ve chosen 12 top sommeliers from Australia and New Zealand and now it’s just a matter of the polishing the glasses, hundreds of them.

It’s the second Family of Twelve wine tutorial. It will be challenging, it will be fun and there is no doubt it will be educational. The Family of Twelve will pit their wines against the rest of the world.

It kicks off this Monday at Villa Maria although there will be a friendly family dinner at Kumeu before the hard work starts. It finishes on Wednesday with a cold beer and the naming of ‘The Family of Twelve Award’ recipient.

Selected from a strong, competitive field of applicants the participants are eagerly anticipating what promises to be a compelling and memorable educational experience.  Unique to New Zealand the very special event will see the participants tutored in a series of immersive wine tasting workshops by Family winemakers.  Including Michael Brajkovich MW the Family tutors are among the country’s very best palates and industry pioneers with decades of practical experience, deep passion and commitment to fine New Zealand wine.  Stephen Wong MW will lend extra dimension to the panel as this year’s external moderator.

The participants will be treated to stunning wine lineups showcasing the Family’s very best alongside bottles from some of the world’s greatest wine estates.  “We expect once again to proudly highlight just how good the best of New Zealand can be in a global fine wine context” says Family Chair Paul Donaldson.  “Our wine panel has put together eight superb lineups for the workshops which will be themed by variety and age”.

The purpose of the wine tutorial is to pass on first-hand knowledge and the mantle of excellence to the next generation of industry leaders taking New Zealand wine into the future.  “The Family of Twelve’s collective background presents an unmatched opportunity to develop palates and generate twelve ambassadors for New Zealand wine” says Paul Donaldson.

The tutorial is very much a story of the endeavours of young people.  This year’s participants are wine professionals boasting impressive varied backgrounds, knowledge and true tenacity when it comes to refining their palates and expanding their wine-worldviews. We’ll be educating the best of the best.

Please see—class-of-2019/ for the full participant list.

About the Tutorial

The Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial is an immersive residential seminar held over two working days and three nights.  The second annual tutorial will be held at Villa Maria’s Auckland estate 4th-7th August 2019 with subsequent fixtures held in different Family locations and is open globally to those working with New Zealand wine, in the areas of sommelier, retailer or wine educator. 

Comprising of tasting workshops during the day followed by dinners with wine options and speakers the tutorial will challenge participants in the way they approach wine appraisal and communicating their thoughts about wine.  Participants will be pushed to the limit, learning and tasting in an intensive environment.

The tastings will feature a wide selection of Family wines.  These will be presented alongside benchmark examples of wine from many of the world’s great wine regions. 

At the conclusion of the tutorial one of the twelve participants receive ‘The Family of Twelve Award’.  They will also receive a collection of the Family’s hero wines for their cellar.  Additionally, a New Zealand based participant will receive a prize sponsored by The Institute of Masters of Wine to join the first two days of the Australasian seminar for MW students in Adelaide.

The tutorial wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Glassware will be provided by Riedel, mineral water by Antipodes and beer by the Garage Project.  The Family warmly thanks our sponsors for their support.

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